Integration and Diversity
Towards the middle of the last century, many European countries changed from emigration countries to immigration countries. Gradually somehow immigrants have been absorbed by the hosting societies, which in turn changed as a result over the years. As immigration increased, particularly during the last 10 years, some European regions, particularly larger cities, have come to face the development of parallel societies, triggering discussions about the failure of the concept of multiculturalism. After the peak in 2015, during the so-called “migration crisis”, the discussion about migration and integration has polarised opinions among EU countries, political parties, European societies and even families. For the EESC, it is important to recognize civil society's efforts and to fully integrate its view into EU policy-making on migration and integration. Civil society is calling for long-term integration policies and warning that the cost of non-integration would by far exceed the cost of integration.
This panel will look at Integration and Diversity from a variety of perspectives: from a political point of view, from the points of view of civil society, migrants and host societies, from a communication and a cultural point of view. The goal is to discuss how far integration needs to go in order to avoid rifts within a society, and in particular how the different stakeholders – politicians, civil society organisations and the media – can better communicate on this challenging topic.
Richard Walker - Head of News, Deutsche Welle, UK
José Antonio Moreno Díaz - Lawyer, European Economic and Social Committee, Spain
Usama Hasan - Head of Islamic Studies, Quilliam International, UK
Anne Sofie Allarp - Journalist, Foreign Affairs Editor, Radio24syv, Denmark
Ángela Paloma Martín - Journalist, Political Consultant, Rovira i Virgili University. La Sexta Planta, Spain
Heinrich Bernhard Kreft - Ambassador, German Embassy of Luxembourg, Germany